Exceptional Hardware and Software Meeting 2014
pushing frontiers of open source & DIY
DESY Hamburg site, June 27-29 2014
In 1994, the newly independent Latvia took over a formerly secret soviet military installation: The satellite tracking site at Ventspils, consisting of a 32 meter and a 16 meter dish. With its large telescopes in the middle of a huge, quiet, almost uninhabited stretch of forest along the Latvian coast, the Ventspils site is one of the most fascinating observatories to visit in Europe. After years of hard work by scientists and technicians from Ventspils University, the site is now operating again, but is now used as an astronomical observatory.
This talk covers an extraordinary development, starting from the time when this place appeared on no maps. It covers the challenges of renovation and what has been achieved until now, the current applications for the two telescopes and how VIRAC became a partner in the international astronomical community.